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When you stop chasing happiness you will know joy- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:56

He whose mind is free of the passions of desire, fear and anger is easy of mind in happiness or misfortune, and steady-minded, he is said to be a sage. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 56 

Alternate translation:

One who is not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness is free of desire, fear and anger. He is said to be a sage who thus finds his pleasure in equilibrium. 

In this one verse we are told what leads to wisdom and what can undo it.

A person who remains composed in any situation without resorting to suppression is free from the influences of desire, fear and anger, for they are the essential causes of the loss of a steady mind and equilibrium.

NOTE: The verse refers to someone who is never anxious or agitated, but it also applies to anyone in any situation in which they would otherwise be agitated and are not, without resorting to suppression. So one may have moments of wisdom without being a ‘sage’. And these moments can grow and multiply.

When you are not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness, you will not be inclined to chase one or avoid the other. You will be happy at times, and unhappy at times, but if you are not affected by either, they cannot cause agitation and your inherent joy can surface. Therefore it is said that the sage finds pleasure in this state.

Your inherent joy can arise
when you stop chasing happiness.

Being free of desire, one is free of fear and anger, for it is desire that begets these two—if there were nothing to lose, there would be nothing to fear, and if there were nothing to fear, there would be nothing to be angry about. One produces the other in serial order.

Desire is the fuel for fear and anger.

Desire, fear and anger are the Toxic Trio to the seeker of Truth. Fear appears when something you don’t want arises or threatens to arise. Anger appears when something that you have and are attached to is lost or threatened. Both fear and anger revolve around desires (wants and don’t wants). If you don’t care, you won’t have a reaction, and neither fear nor anger will arise.

Attaining Equilibrium

As long as there is a sense of doership at the core of the mind running things, one must contend with the desires of the mind. Though there may be other kinds of desires, these are the ones to look out for if we want to achieve and maintain wisdom and reach yoga samadhi.

The desires of the mind are at the root of the emotions that disturb one’s equilibrium, but it is not the emotions themselves that are the culprits, it is the agitation they can cause, and there is a way to deal with this.

I think it is fair to say that abandoning desires for happiness, and quitting fear and anger, are not easy tasks. So what shall we do?

We must place ourselves in the hands of That which is already free of such disturbances: Absolute God, Absolute Truth, the True and Absolute Self. Surrender to the Absolute in the meditation room puts us in the position of having abandoned the role of ‘doership’, and we can gain experience with this through its practice. Outside the meditation room, we can apply techniques designed to take the charge out of reactions and unwanted feelings. In time, union with God/Truth will overtake us and bring us the freedom and joy that we seek.

In the next installment, we will discuss how to go about distinguishing desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to That!),
Durga Ma

INTUITION
If you wonder how intuition fits into all this, see Simone Wright’s video on how to sort this out.


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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You are your own best friend – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:55

The Blessed Lord spoke:
Abandoning all desires of the mind, contented in the self by the self, one’s wisdom stands firm. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 55 

Literaly, ‘all desires, longings, cravings, gone away’. 

Your “wisdom stands firm” only when you are contented within yourself, by yourself. To accomplish this, you must be free of mentally based desires. (Ouch!)

In the mystical texts of the East, the most crucial information in its final form is usually given first. This is Krishna’s first statement in response to Arjuna’s questions of the previous verse, so we must take special note of it.

Earlier we read that it is the desires of the mind that are responsible for keeping the mind active, and that only when the mind is inactive does it become possible to enter into deep meditation. 

“Abandoning all desires of the mind”

Abandoning — You leave them, they don’t leave you.

Mentally based desires have their source in the contact of the senses with sense objects—you see it, you like it, you want it.

Our dependence on our senses to navigate this world makes abandoning desires almost impossible. Furthermore, once perceived objects enter the mind they are recorded in the mind, and when the mind has retained them for more than a couple of weeks, they remain. When these bits of stored information are associated with strong feelings, these feelings can resurface under similar circumstances, triggered by the recorded memory, whether you are aware of this happening or not. The like or dislike of the way this feels generates either positive or negative desires—you want it, or you want to avoid it. 

Everything that gets into the mind gets there through the senses, but…

There is one exception to this: There is a state in which one perceives without any means due to the senses being withdrawn. In this state, called pratyahara, desires are effectively abandoned, ‘gone away’. Experiences had under these circumstances are also recorded in the mind, but the nature of what is perceived (Truth) and how it is perceived (directly, not through the senses), does not cause disturbances of the mind-stuff (chitta*).

The beginning stage of pratyahara is a result of advanced pranayama (restraint of prana, life energy). There are various techniques for pranayama and pratyahara, but in surrender sadhana, all of this happens spontaneously, and takes one into the early stages of sabija samadhi very quickly.

Chitta - the surface of consciousness upon which the mind is constructed.

“Contented in the self by the self, one’s wisdom stands firm”

The mind is a part of nature. You are not nature. Nature is outside yourself. When you are finally satisfied within yourself, you are self-sufficient, and because you are content with this internal state, all the desires of the mind, being different from this state, naturally cease to exert themselves. 

With the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind-stuff, one attains yoga samadhi, and one is indeed one’s own best friend, safe from mentally based desires wreaking havoc with the mind-stuff. How one reaches this state is elaborated in the next few verses:

56  He whose mind is free from the passions of desire, fear and anger is easy of mind in happiness or misfortune; steady-minded, he is said to be a sage.

57  He who is non-desirous in all things, encountering this or that, whether pleasant or unpleasant, delightful or repugnant, his wisdom stands firm.

58  And when the senses become withdrawn from the objects of the senses, as a tortoise’s limbs are drawn into its shell, his wisdom stands firm.

Having read these verses through to get a feel for how this firm-standing wisdom can be achieved and maintained, if you want to go for it, try reading them from the bottom up. In the next installments we will take these verses up in more detail.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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How to learn: Ask questions- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:54

Arjuna spoke:
What is the description of one whose wisdom stands firm? One who is steadfast in deep meditation, Keshava? How should one steady of thought speak? How should he sit? How should he move? — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 54  

When I was first trying to wrap my wits around the Bhavagad Gita and came across this verse I thought, What strange questions to be asking after such profound teachings! How does he speak? sit? move? Surely there would be a more profound query or two? But that was a long time ago. Now that I have been teaching for a while, I have heard these very questions from students for myself, and recognize these latter day questions in this verse.

“The description of one whose wisdom stands firm … steadfast in deep meditation” 

A closer look at the Sanskrit reveals that ‘deep meditation’ and samadhi are synonymous, so a more concise translation is, “someone of steadfast wisdom absorbed in samadhi”.

“How should one steady of thought speak?”

Since thought precedes speech, how could one whose thoughts have stopped, speak? If in this state the mind is inactive, how is speech even possible?

How should he sit? How should he move?”

What would be his disposition, his character, temperament and personality? How would he behave and conduct himself? What would he be like if you were to met him on the street?

How should he move?”

How would one ‘move, wander, proceed, live, pass the time’ under the conditions we have thus far uncovered? What would his life be like? Could he go to work nine-to-five? Would he make money and have a house, or live in a cave, or would he be a beggar on the street, a monk, or something else entirely? And now that he has reached this exalted stated, is there more? Where does he go from here? What happens next?

“Keshava” — A name of Krishna referring to him as the ‘killer of (the demon) Keshi’.

The word means ‘long haired’ or ‘handsome haired’, so this demon looks good, but the root of the word means ‘pain, trouble, torment, and suffering’. So Keshi is deceptive—what looks good is trouble in disguise.

Keshi is the senses reaching out to sense objects to keep the mind actively engaged, thus preventing samadhi yoga and clouding one’s awareness.

The name of Keshi’s destroyer, Krishna, means ‘black’ or ‘dark’. Krishna is an avatar of Vishunu, the sustainer of life. The Sustainer in the form of darkness kills this demon who messes with your mind to keep you away from Truth. But how can this be? We thought all the good stuff would be Light!

This state is called pratyahara, the ‘withdrawal of the senses’, the precursor of meditation, dhyana. At its onset one experiences this blissful relief as complete darkness (there is no-thing there). This is a case of darkness dispelling the light of illusion, the illusion of a world that relies on reflected light to be seen, and even then is perceptible only indirectly. But with the experience of pratyahara we discover that all that glitters is not gold, and we are now set to experience true meditation.

Meditation that is not reached by means of pratyahara is not true meditation.

____________________________

Arjuna’s response to the wisdom Krishna has imparted to him thus far is to ask questions, and he is about to get an answer. He is eager to know how all this is going to look, how he can recognize this state to know when he has attained it.

In the next verse we will get the answer to Arjuna’s question, and in the verses that follow, the subject is sustained for the purpose of describing how one reaches this state either in terms of what it will take to get there, or how it will come about, depending upon your orientation.

What is ‘dark’ that sustains and maintains your life?
Prana, the Life Force, the Sustainer — you can’t see it.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.